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Walking around the pristine home, the social worker noted that even though it was partially under renovation the house was immaculately well-kept.
“You haven’t exactly baby-proofed, have you?” Roberta Collier asked knowing full well that it was an unfair question under the circumstances. She expected Bette to make excuses but instead she challenged her.
“Well I don’t believe in babyproofing per se. We’ve certainly taken it into consideration but that doesn’t mean that we need a lot of those ugly rubber things covering everything. I really want Angelica to develop an intrinsic sense of beauty.”
“Well I can tell that’s important to you Bette. Presumably its why I don’t see an abundance of brightly colored stimulating interactive plastic toys strewn around the house.”
“We have workers trampling in and out of here most days. Not exactly a safe environment for an infant to be playing in right now. You do know that Tina and I live in Santa Monica with Angie currently, don’t you? I made note of that in my application.”
“I’m aware of that but since this home is considered your primary residence the assumption is that the child will spend time here will she not?”
“Of course, she will.”
“Then it has to be inspected and meet code. Does she have a separate bedroom? I know many parents like to keep newborns with them in the master, but we do require the child to have their own room.”
“That’s not a problem. It’s one of the reasons for the additions to the house. I’ll show you her room. Right this way.” Bette took the lead.
Angelica’s bedroom suite was previously Bette and Tina’s master bedroom and bath converted into a child’s oasis. The room was reminiscent of the space Melvin had created for Bette when she was nine. The nursery was fitted with every imaginable need a baby could have including a separate play area strewn with stimulating plastic toys.
“Is there anything in this space that doesn’t meet code?” Bette asked knowing that even a critic like Roberta would be hard-pressed to find fault with the set-up.
“No. It’s fine.” Roberta didn’t like being upended, but she couldn’t write anything in the report that wasn’t based on facts and findings.